Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

In Washington, D.C., some vending machines are providing a new snack: free children’s books.

The Book Vending Machine program is the first of its kind in the U.S. It is the newest addition to "Soar with Reading", a literacy program started five years ago by JetBlue Airlines.

Dozens of books that appeal to children are within reach, at the push of a button...

From Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

How fiction writing can improve your productivity and well-being

This got me thinking: if fiction writing can have such a powerful effect on my mental state, would it have the same effect on others? Is there a tangible mental benefit to creating something entirely fictional? And is it something that non-writers can make use of?

From How fiction writing can improve your productivity and well-being


The Rise of Phone Reading - WSJ

“The future of digital reading is on the phone,” said Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. “It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”

From The Rise of Phone Reading - WSJ


Mailman's plea for books gets worldwide response

Mailman's plea for books gets worldwide response
Utah boy was sifting through junk mail for something to read

A postal carrier has delivered more than the mail to a Sandy, Utah boy. KSL in Salt Lake City reports that his request for books for the child to read has unexpectedly spread around the world.

Ron Lynch was delivering the mail when he spotted 12-year-old Mathew Flores fishing advertisements and newsletters out of a junk mail bin. The boy told the mail carrier that he was looking for something to read.

Reading, he says, is interesting. "Plus, it gets you smarter," Flores said.

"A young man was standing here reading junk mail and asked me if I had any extra," Lynch told KSL.

Lynch started a conversation with the boy. Flores told the mail carrier that he reads the advertisements because he doesn't have books of his own and that bus fares made it difficult to get to the library.

If Flores couldn't get to the library, Lynch decided to bring the library to him.


What The College Kids Are Reading

Lots of colleges have these reading programs; some are just for freshmen, and for others, the entire campus or local community joins in. The idea is that books will stir discussion — and unite a class or campus around a topic. Some schools even have the author speak on campus, or weave the book's content into the year's curriculum.


Airline Sets Up Free Book Vending Machines In Southeast D.C.

Now, Jet Blue Airways is launching a pilot program in Southeast D.C. that aims to get books into homes. Starting Wednesday, July 8, their Soar with Reading program will stock three vending machines throughout the area with free books for kids. 

From Airline Sets Up Free Book Vending Machines In Southeast D.C. - The Kojo Nnamdi Show


Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens

Thanks to technology, we’re reading more than ever—our brains process thousands of words via text messages, email, games, social media, and web stories. According to one report, the amount people that read tripled from 1980 to the late 2000s, and it’s probably safe to say that trend continues today. But as we jam more and more words into our heads, how we read those words has changed in a fundamental way: we’ve moved from paper to screens. It’s left many wondering what we’ve lost (or gained) in the shift, and a handful of scientists are trying to figure out the answer.

From Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens | Co.Design | business + design

Encouraging Teenagers to Read, by Choosing Books From the Non-Y.A. Shelves

My sons have always been voracious readers. One started early, the other started late, but once they got going, both were hooked. Then, one day this winter, I looked around my teenager’s room and noticed something was missing. Where books once littered his room, I now find guitar picks, running spikes and dirty socks.

I’ve learned from experience that encouraging my children to engage in anything I want them to do requires a lot of finesse. When I’ve come right out and recommended books I think they will like, those titles are immediately blacklisted from their mental card catalog, because my very endorsement taints them with a mom-approved stink.

My solution is to “seed” my older son’s room with a wide range of books for him to find on his own time and on his own terms. I consulted with my local bookseller, Brenda Leahy, who curates a list of teenage recommendations selected from outside the Young Adult section of the bookstore. Once armed, I scattered the literary bait all over my son’s room.

Full piece:


Raising Kids Who Want To Read

In his new book, Raising Kids Who Read, Daniel Willingham wants to be clear: There's a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading.

And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn't champion reading for the obvious reasons — not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

"The standard things you'll hear about why kids should read I actually don't think are very strong arguments," he says. "Because if the goal is to become a good citizen or the goal is to make a lot of money, I can think of more direct ways to reach those goals than to read during your leisure time."

Full piece here:

What Reading Does for the Mind

Lack of exposure and practice on the part of the less skilled reader delays the development of automaticity and speed at the word recognition level. Slow, capacity-draining word recognition processes require cognitive resources that should be allocated to comprehension. Thus, reading for meaning is hindered; unrewarding reading experiences multiply; and practice is avoided or merely tolerated without real cognitive involvement.

From What Reading
Does for the Mind
[PDF Link]
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